“And they lived happily ever after.” So ends the tale of Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, the Princess and the Pea, and on and on the list goes. If we aren’t careful, we’ll come to expect that outcome for our own lives.
Melissa and I stood in the aisle of the homeschool convention, pouring our hearts out to one another. We women can do that, can’t we? Oblivious to the jostling crowd, we are in a heart connection with another woman and time stands still.
Melissa shared with me the years of struggle she had after one of life’s common losses. It was a loss that many women have experienced, but it was Melissa’s first serious loss. She told me that she didn’t expect it, because she had always felt like God’s princess. Nothing really bad had ever happened to her before that. She wasn’t prepared.
We are God’s princesses. It’s just that God’s princesses do not live happily ever after on earth. The happily ever after happens in heaven, not here.
It is easy to believe fairy tales instead of God’s Word, but Jesus told us plainly that we would not live happily ever after–here.
These things I have spoken to you,
so that in Me you may have peace.
In the world you have tribulation, but take courage;
I have overcome the world.
I looked up tribulation. Here are some synonyms: suffering, distress, trouble, misery, wretchedness, heartache, woe, sorrow, pain, anguish, agony, worry, anxiety, burden, ordeal, hardship, trauma.
Ever experienced any of those? The problem with believing in “happily ever after” is that when something terrible happens, we are, as the saying goes, “thrown for a loop.” Now there’s an idiom for you. Let’s imagine that literally. We are walking along, minding our own business, living happily ever after, when something distressful (or miserable or heart-wrenching or agonizing) happens and we tumble head over heels, end up on the ground, and sit there wondering who we are after all.
What does Jesus say we should do? Take courage. And we can, because He has overcome the world.
When we experience something terrible, it is easy to blame ourselves. Jesus experienced things that were terrible, and He certainly wasn’t to blame.
Sometimes the trouble we experience seems so unfair. When that happens to me, I find great comfort in knowing that Jesus experienced so much that was unfair. Just think. The very people who should have complimented Him and loved Him and honored Him were the ones who ridiculed Him, rejected Him (does anything hurt worse than that?), and, in the end, killed Him. Even with all that, they didn’t kill His spirit, His faith, His love for God, or His love for people.
It will help if we will turn in our crowns temporarily and be content as servants. That’s what Jesus did when He came to earth.
Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial;
for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life
which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.